The Tom Fun Orchestra (29 mars 2008)
THE TOM FUN ORCHESTRA est un groupe folk mordant qui vient des provinces de l’Atlantique. Toujours enthousiaste et endiablée, leur musique commence à recevoir beaucoup d’attention et nous avons profité de la sortie de leur premier album pour jaser un petit peu avec le groupe.
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[DAVE]: First off, for those who haven’t heard from THE TOM FUN ORCHESTRA, would it be possible for you to give us a little background info on the band? Where are you from, how did the project start and all?
[TFO]: We are the TOM FUN ORCHESTRA aka The Tom Fun Orca Whale. We are from Cape Breton Island. We happened by accident and we continue to exist by accident.
[DAVE]: How many people are there exactly in the band? Where do you all come from? It almost looks like you guys could play a symphony all by yourself!
[TFO]: Officially there are 9 of us in the band. In the past there have been as many as 12 or 13. We still occasionally invite folks to join us on stage, when they can fit. We all come from an Industrial Cape Breton, which should probably be referred to as Post Industrial Cape Breton at this point.
[DAVE]: What kind of bus do you use to tour? How is life on the road with everyone?
[TFO]: Right now we use 2 mini vans. Once in the past we have toured on a large, rickety blue school bus with 2 other bands. There were upwards of 20 people on that bus & we drove it half-way across the country. If we could make it through that tour, we can make it through anything.
[DAVE]: Are you tour addicts or do you mostly stay around your home city?
[TFO]: We come from a town on an island next to the Atlantic Ocean… if we didn’t tour, no one outside of Cape Breton would know that we exist.
[DAVE]: Your first album is out and is called You Will Land With A Thud. Where was it recorded and when?
[TFO]: We recorded our album in April & May of 2007 at Carriage House Studios in Connecticut with some additional recording at Soundpark Studios in Cape Breton. Recording this album was a shit-load of fun.
[DAVE]: What influenced you as far as music goes (songs, ideas, people)?
[TFO]: Everything around me influences my music. I find my songs in rusty cans beside park benches, in seagull beaks and in my back pocket.
[DAVE]: What are the main subjects of the lyrics?
[TFO]: Each song is a different story. These stories come from all kinds of places. Some are about misfits & vagabonds, some are about friends and lovers, some are about slimy babies flying through the air wearing goggles and carrying magnifying glasses. . .
[DAVE]: Throughout the whole album, there’s this constant surge of energy and happiness. How important is that to your band? Would you play any other kind of music?
[TFO]: If I had my way, I would play any kind of music I could think of. I guess that’s why we end up incorporating a variety of sounds in our music – I can’t satisfy myself with playing one style of music. Some day I am going to play in a two-piece hardcore band as well as a hurdy-gurdy based hip hop ensemble. Just you wait. As far as the surge of energy and happiness goes, I think that just comes naturally. It’s not really something we think of.
[DAVE]: You seem to create a very strong bond with your fans. Is that something you’re looking to achieve or did it just happen like that?
[TFO]: We use musical crazy glue…. Once they get stuck, they have no choice.
[DAVE]: How do you use the new technologies (MySpace, Internet, Blogs, Facebook) to promote your band? Is that something that is important to you guys?
[TFO]: It’s important in the sense that it’s useful. Social networking sites and blogs are particularly helpful in spreading the word to a lot of people cheaply & quickly.
[DAVE]: You have a digital version of your album. Do you think this is the way the music should go?
[TFO]: I don’t think this is the way that music should go but I think that it’s the way that the industry is going. There isn’t any turning back at this point. That being said, I think there will always be some demand to have hard copies of albums printed from folks who like to flip through the liner notes while they listen to an album. I am one of those folks.
[DAVE]: What are the pros and cons from living in the Atlantic for a band?
[TFO]: Pros: There is a noticeable lack of pretentiousness that seems to accompany a lot of music scenes elsewhere in the world.
There is a wealth of talent on the east coast that has been kept secret from the rest of the world. It’s a super cool place to live & play music. Most bands around here are really supportive of one another. It’s like a big scruffy family that doesn’t know when to go to bed on time.
Cons: We have to spend a ridiculous time in a van to get anywhere.
We have to deal with the rest of the country’s preconceived notions of east coast music. That’s pretty lame.
[DAVE]: If you could put out a benefit show, what would it be for and who would you invite?
[TFO]: I would put on a benefit concert for the forgotten bears of the Canadian countryside and I would invite dogs and cats and seagulls and ducks, aardvarks & tapirs and tiny, tiny hippo babies, all squished together. The bears would sit in lawn chairs and pick at their belly buttons and the other animals would perform a variety of song and dance routines. For the grand finale, a team of moo cows would perform Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel.
[DAVE]: What can we expect from you guys in 2008?
[TFO]: As far as I can tell, we’ll be playing our brains out. We’ve got tours planned throughout Canada, the UK & Ireland. I figure 2008 will be the year that I finally track down Nancy Sinatra to perform a series of duets so I’m looking forward to that.